Cranberry team takes top honors at Envirothon

From staff reports

The Cranberry High School Tunnel Rats team took home the first-place title in the annual Venango County Evirothon competition at Two Mile Run County Park.

The team, which was advised by Lauri Piercy, consisted of students Dalton Wenner, Colin Zerbe, Dane Ley, Dan Wenner and Kelsey Hannah.

The Hellbenders team, also from Cranberry, took second place, and the Predators team from Oil City High School finished third.

The Tunnel Rats will travel to Camp Mount Luther in Mifflinburg on May 24 to represent Venango County in the 40th annual state Envirothon competition.

About 35 students from Cranberry, Oil City and Rocky Grove high schools attended this year’s event. Students competed as part of a five-member team, with seven teams participating.

Three teams represented Cranberry, while Oil City and Rocky Grove sent two teams each.

This annual environmental education event focuses on exposing the students to various natural resource topics that are taught by their teachers and local environmental professionals.

They study forestry, aquatic ecology, wildlife, soils and land use, and a current environmental issue. This year’s current issue topic was “Adapting to a Changing Climate.”

Hosted by the Venango Conservation District, the competition was accompanied by an earlier Envirothon training day.

Students were presented with information about each topic by local agency representatives including the state Fish & Boat Commission, the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

On testing day, the students rotated between stations that tested their knowledge of wildlife identification, aquatic macroinvertebrate classification and forest management techniques, among others.